What is memory? Well, the answer to that question can be quite vague and it is this vagueness that is the inspiration behind Heavy Cloud's most recent release Memory Drift. It is an odd and wandering album that ranges from slightly busy ambient to long, droning textures. Released on UK-based record label Mailbox in late February, it is truly an exploration of the phenomenon we call remembering.
The album begins with a short and shimmering intro "And Then," quickly moving into a text-to-speech dominated "Future World Sprawl." One of the most interesting tracks on the album, the robotic voice speaks as poetically as a machine can on subjects such as loneliness and the human condition as it is affected by the technology that we find ourselves surrounded by constantly juxtaposed with random sounds such as camera clicks and alarm sounds. It is a strangely moving piece of synthesized reflection.
The next two tracks, "Swaying Branches" and "Memory Drift," are defined by drones and subtle movements as we move to the final track "Will Our Hearts Burn Forever?" This final track (an epic 21 minutes long) shifts slowly and plays out almost like an album in itself. Filled with long droning textures that give way to slightly cacophonous field recordings that then subside into soft, heartfelt keys accompanied by equally soft pads. As this moment passes, we are taking back into new drone textures that have the most minimal quality of anything heard on the entire album. This moment then leaves as we are treated to an almost silence as the drones slowly fade away.
Memory Drift is more than just an ambient album. It is a statement about the intertwining of humanity and technology. An intertwining that is now irreversible and deeply affecting how we connect with one another and how we remember. A meditative and profound work, it is well worth a close listen.